Principle #3 – Follow your Passion


Seeing the beautiful Christmas lights in Kraków, Poland, after a day and a half of travel, was a welcome sight!!! It’s exciting to have most of our Ukraine Relief Initiative ((URI) and KDU leadership teams physically together for the first time. Each person’s love, compassion, and kindness for our Ukrainian friends shines through them like a beacon of light in a dark sky. 

Wawel Royal Castle, Kraków, Poland.


We’ve had an update to the PayPal account we’ve been using through HCC, our registered 501(c)(3) passthrough charity. The new link is You will see the message “Donate to Hispanic community Council of Chautauqua County. Ukraine Relief Initiative!!! Relieve the crisis. Thoughtfully with discipline and Heart. NOW.” You may donate as a one-time donation and will also have the option to set up monthly donations. Please note the name and address for sending checks have also changed. See the bottom of the email for more information. Thank you for donating to relieve the crisis.

“Relieve the crisis. Thoughtfully. With discipline and Heart. Now.”

I joined Matt and the KDU team on Thursday for staff development and to catch up. On Friday, leaders of URI and KDU met to discuss program updates and current challenges, and we began to discuss how to meet the new demands.

A planning session with URI/ KDU teams.
Clockwise from lower left – Olga, Lucja, Kasia, Magda, Lena, Olga, Matt, and Cindy

It wouldn’t be a “Cindy meeting” if post-it notes were not involved!!!

With the cold temperatures of winter, things are getting worse for the Ukrainian people still in Ukraine. And we expect this to continue until next spring. There has been an influx of new Ukrainians to Kraków because Ukraine has lost most of its electricity, and there are no lights, heat, or water.

The number of visitors to the Świetlica Dębniki Community Center has also increased. On some days, it has doubled. The current numbers of visitors are about 450 adults and 700 children. Compared to 330 adults and 370 children a few weeks ago. Polish classes have increased at the center, with people sitting on the floor and in the corridor. Teenagers are struggling. They have been going to Polish schools and Ukrainian online schools. But with the lack of electricity, Ukrainian schools have stopped teaching online. Teenagers’ schedules are so full they miss contact with their peers.

These are the types of challenges that arise when war tactics shift. Last spring, we had planned for 6-9 months of support services offered through the community center last spring. We are now at the end of that time frame and need more long-term planning, funding, and solutions to the ever-changing challenges. This is the focus of our joint leadership team meeting this week. We will keep you updated as new plans materialize.

Even though there are new challenges, the community center is a happy place filled with a lot of smiles. Every week, 100 women attend groups/workshops, 60 women go to English classes, 300 women attend Polish classes, 85 children participate in various activities, and 260 children visit the daycare…see pictures below. These numbers are growing, but we will grow with them.

If you want to help fund the growing needs of displaced Ukrainian families, please see the instructions to donate at the bottom of this email. Thank you for your love and support for these innocent Ukrainian women and children. Together we can do so much; remember URI + KDU: “1 + 1 = 1,000”. We are one team, one heart, and one world! Be positive and stay safe. #supportukrainians #hopeforpeace

Much love,


All contributions are fully tax-deductible through HCC, our registered 501(c)(3) passthrough charity.

Make your check payable to **Hispanic Community Council** – (VERY IMPORTANT: not to Ukraine Relief Initiative) and send it to the following address:

c/o John Kersey
208 Liberty Street
Warren, PA 16365

Please indicate “Ukrainian Relief Initiative” in the check memo and include a note with your contact info (address, phone, email).

Use this link: PayPal goes through the “Hispanic Community Council,” our 501(c)3 passthrough organization.
In the memo, please include your name, address, phone #, and email so we can process your tax receipt.

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